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Phyllis Olga Klatchko (1894–1936)


Coroner's Finding in Montrose Case
"No Sign of Compulsion"

After evidence had been given yesterday at an inquest into the deaths of Mrs. Phyllis Olga Klatchko, aged 40 years, and her cousin Graham Henry Duckett, aged 18 years, who were found in a closed car which had been filled with exhaust gas from the engine, the city coroner (Mr. Tingate, P.M.), said that there was nothing to indicate that Mrs. Klatchko had been compelled to enter the car.

Vernon Lynden Duckett, warehouseman, of Towers road, Toorak, father of the dead youth said that his son had been of happy disposition, but recently he had changed. He had become quieter. At 7.30 p.m. on September 22 his son had declined to accompany the family to a picture show. His subsequent absence from home did not cause alarm until the following evening. He identified the writing in a note produced as that of his son.

The note said that the writer had taken Mrs. Klatchko to Montrose by force. Henry Cyril Augustus Steele, managing director, of Kooyong road, Toorak, brother-in-law of Mrs. Klatchko said that she was of bright disposition, and when he saw her last at 5 p.m. on September 23 she appeared to be normal.

Austin E. Lewin, warehouse assistant, of Punt road, South Yarra, said that on September 24, at Mr. Steele's request he went to the week-end home of the Ducketts at Montrose. In a car the doors and windows of which were closed he found the bodies of Mrs. Klatchko and Duckett huddled together on the back seat. The car was in a garage, the door of which was slightly open.

Constable Thomas Mason, of Croydon, said that Graham Duckett had his left arm round Mrs. Klatchko when their bodies were found. A piece of hose had been connected to the exhaust pipe of the car and the other end inserted into the car. One of the womans arms was round Duckett. There was no sign that Duckett had forcibly held her in the car. The engine apparently had run until the petrol supply was exhausted.

The coroner found that Graham Duckett and Mrs. Klatchko had died from carbon monoxide poisoning administered by themselves.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Klatchko, Phyllis Olga (1894–1936)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Duckett, Phyllis Olga

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


24 September, 1936 (aged ~ 42)
Montrose, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death